RRCA Coaching Certification Class

Something that has been on my to-do list for quite some time now is becoming a certified running coach. Even though I have been coaching for a year now, I really wanted to obtain the certification. Based on my years of experience, research on the running industry, and having so many coaches in my lifetime, I feel very comfortable coaching others. I figured this credential could only help me to better serve my clients.

RRCA, the Road Runners Club of America, is one of two organizations (that I know of) who certify individuals to coach others in the sport of running. A couple of things I have found of the RRCA Coaching Certification course is:

  1. It doesn’t come to the same area often
  2. It fills up very quickly, especially in large cities (NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.)

I’ve been trying to get into courses for a couple of years now. I signed up for the email alerts, so am one of the firsts to know when a new course has opened up. In the past, I have either had a conflict, the flights are too expensive, or the course fills up in no time. As soon as I received an email a few months back that RRCA was coming to Ft. Lauderdale, I quickly checked my calendar and signed up immediately. I was finally into a class! Woo hoo!!

RRCA

The coaching certification course is always held at a location picked by the host – the person that submits the city in hopes they are chosen. In Ft Lauderdale, our class was at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. It was a perfect location for our group of approximately 37 participants. The room was set up in classroom style, so it was very conducive to learning. It was a relatively comfortable space – as comfy as sitting for 9 hours straight can be.

Both days were completely jam-packed. We started at 8am and worked all the way until 5:15 or so. Lunch was catered to us (Toojay’s), so no one needed to leave. The course was led solely by one person, Randy Accetta. Randy is a professor at the University of Arizona, and a very fast marathoner. He no longer races, but when he was in his prime, he PR’d at 2:19 for the marathon. Not too shabby.

We were given a course book with all of the slides (over 400!) that we would be covering in the next couple of days. In the book was also the schedule for our course work.

Here is what Day 1 looked like:

  • Introductions
  • Coaching History
  • Types of Runners and Their Training Needs
  • Putting it Together with Physiology
  • Types of Running
  • How to Coach
  • Coaching Nutrition
  • Day One Conclusions

This is what we had in store for us on Day 2:

  • Reflection on Day One
  • The Business of Coaching
  • Coaching: Sports Psychology
  • Coaching: Injuries, Heat, and Altitude – plus managing workouts
  • Building Programs, Part 1
  • Building Programs, Part 2
  • Conclusions and Next Steps

Without getting into too much detail about the actual information, I really want to highlight what I liked and disliked about the course. This way, those of you thinking whether or not you want you are interested in signing up can make a more educated decision.

Likes:

  • Diverse Group. There were new runners, experienced runners, and even people in their 50’s in 60’s looking to learn more. Some people were fast runners, high school coaches, or people just looking to learn more about the sport and leading others while participating in it.
  • The Location. I am thrilled they brought the course back to Florida. Although it was a 4 hour (ish) drive down there, I was happy to not have to fly out of state. This way, Marcus could come along with me and enjoy a weekend at the beach –> I was quite jealous!
  • Information Shared. In the span of two days, we covered a lot of information. I loved the classroom setting, and being around other people with like interests. Think about when you meet someone new for the first time, and they happen to be a runner – endless conversation. Just imagine a room with 37 of these people.

Dislikes

  • Not an Expert on Information. The course leader was very knowledgable about running, running plans, etc., but I didn’t find him to be extremely knowledgable about a decent amount of the information that was covered. If there were questions on parts he wasn’t as familiar with (nutrition), he would simply say “I don’t know” and move on. While I wouldn’t want him to just make up an answer, I do think it would be beneficial to bring in an expert from the field to present on the particular subject. This obviously is not the course leader’s fault, but something that could be looked into by the RRCA.
  • Storytelling. The course leader was a story-teller, which can be good and bad all at the same time. It made it easier to relate and get to know him, but it also put us pretty far behind on time. We ended up having to fly through some information due to being behind, which I think could have been avoided if we stayed on topic a bit better. We were also released late both days, which wasn’t ideal. Getting out 30 minutes late when you still have to drive across the state to get home kind of stunk.
  • Skimming the Surface. I mentioned above how there was a lot of information shared. While this was a Level 1 coaching course, I honestly think it could have easily been covered in two weekends instead of 1. There was so much information that was really just highlighted, and I would have liked to see it go a bit more in-depth. We were told that there is going to be an opportunity to get to more of a specialized certification coming in January, which will include the Level 2 type information.
  • For Beginners. I had a feeling this was going to be the case, but the RRCA certification is definitely for those new to coaching. I felt as though I knew 95% of the information shared. By no means is that to say I know all there is about coaching (I definitely do not!), but I didn’t walk away with as much new knowledge as I would have liked. Hopefully, the Level 2 course will be a bit more eye-opening.

After the course is complete, everyone is required to take a 100 question multiple choice exam. Each participant must also prove they are CPR certified and turn the proof into the instructor within 30 days, which is also the exam window. I plan to take the test within the next week or so.

Please feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about the course that I didn’t answer. I am more than happy to go a little more in-depth with you.

Baby Baum: Week 17

Based on comments from family, friends, and 1 stranger, it looks like 17 weeks is the week of the pop! I was asked by someone (who doesn’t know me I’d like to add) whether or not I am pregnant. This is the first time this has happened, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy about it. There was a pretty long time in the beginning of pregnancy when I felt like I was looking just round, so it is nice to start to actually look pregnant (even if it is just a little bit).

17 weeks side 2

So what’s up with Baby Baum this week?!

  • BB is now the size of an onion – approx 5.1 inches in length and 5.9 ounces in weight
  • His or her skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, and fat is accumulating around it
  • The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger
  • His or her fingers and toes now have their own one of a kind prints

And for me:

Weight gain: At my 16 week appointment last week, I weighed in at 150 pounds, which is 5 pounds up from where I started pregnancy, and 10 pounds from where I started post my April marathon. The doctor said my weight is fine, and I shouldn’t be worried about trying to gain more or less. She pretty much said it will start to catch up later on most likely as the baby grows more and more.

Workouts: Last week was another good workout week. I completed 3 runs and 2 days of weight training, with a day of cross training as well. My plan was to get another day of running in, but sleep was just far more important than a 3 mile run. Oh how my priorities are already changing!

Symptoms: Honestly, nothing this week, other than some changes to sleep – more on that below.

17 weeks front

Food Aversions: I’ve been able to reintroduce some chicken, but really only if it is somewhat masked my other things – think chicken tacos, chicken on tacos etc. I still don’t even like to think of a grilled chicken breast – ick! A few veggies haven’t really been doing it for me either. They’ve been more of the leafy variety – kale, things like that. Something about it just isn’t working with me.

Food Cravings: I’m pretty boring on this front too. Most of my eating is pretty much the same as it has always been. I’ve been doing a good job at eating pretty healthy. I find a feel a lot better when I am fueling my body with whole foods and less processed sugar. Who would have thought!?

Sleep: Last week, I had one night of some really rough insomnia. I was awake from 1:30am to 3:30am and just couldn’t seem to fall back asleep. I tried counting (backwards and forwards), reading, watching tv, but nothing worked. My mind was just racing about who knows what. I finally grabbed my phone, pulled up a YouTube meditation track, plugged in some headphones, and drifted off to sleep after a few minutes. The weird thing, is ever since then, I’ve actually been sleeping through the night. I’m guessing the baby has moved a bit (aka, away from my bladder) and is giving me a little bit of a break. All I know, is sleeping through the night is amazing! Definitely something I took for granted before.

Baby Items Purchased: I got one thing last week, which just so happened to be a gift from my amazing husband. After that little insomnia kick, he went out the next day during his lunch break and picked up a Boppy Pillow – not the one for babies, but the one for moms. It is a 3 piece pillow that completely contours to a growing body, and wow – I can not say enough amazing things about this pillow (or about Marcus for surprising me with it!). It is crazy comfy to sleep with, and makes a huge difference in my comfort level at night.

Boppy Pillow

Miss anything: Nah, not really. My life is pretty darn similar right now. Honestly, it is just getting better. I guess the only thing I can really say I miss is being able to get through a 3 mile run without having to stop to use the bathroom. That is really just annoying.

Anyone else suffer from insomnia? Have any tricks in case is happens again?

What Kind of Runner are You?

Running is a pretty simple sport when it comes down to it. You lace up your shoes and put one foot in front of the other for a certain amount of time, right? Wrong! There are so many different ways to tackle a run, and so many runners to take it on. There are so many different kinds of runners with different goals, desires, and wants. What kind of runner are you?

The Naked Runner

You go out for a run with no real goal in mind. You leave the watch on the dresser and are just in it for the enjoyment. Yes, you are wearing clothes, but you just don’t care about your time, distance, or speed. Running is a way to have a few moments to yourself. You really don’t keep track of your running. You just know you completed a run on a certain day, and that’s all the confirmation you need.

Running Ecard 4

The Consistent – Every – Day – Runner

You run the same route and the same mileage – every single day. There is nothing that can stop you from getting in those miles. You don’t even need a watch to keep track of your distance, because you know your route like the back of your hand. Each morning, you wake up to an alarm and really don’t think twice about getting out there. It is as normal for you to go on the same run as it is to brush your teeth. Total and complete habit.

The Run When I Feel Like It Runner

You get the urge to go running a few times a week, sometimes a few times a month, or maybe even a few times a year. Each time you get out there, you think how much easier it would be to just run a little more often – you would end up being in so much better shape and the runs wouldn’t be nearly as tough. Yet, you still keep your shoes in the closet until 3 weeks creeps by, and you decide to go run again.

Running Ecard 1

The I’m Married to my Garmin Runner

There isn’t a run you start without your GPS watch. You have to know your pace and exact distance, no matter what. If you set out for a 7 mile, 6.97 just won’t cut it. You have to get to that 7.0 mark to really call it a completed 7 mile run.

The I Can’t Say No To A Race Runner

You look at your bank statement, only to see there is a whole lot of your paycheck dedicated to race entry fees. You race most weekends in the fall, and the same comes for the spring. Your only reprieve is in the summer, when races are just too hot to even think about hosting, let alone running. Your alarm goes off far too early for a Saturday, only for you to curse it, and then do the exact same thing the next weekend. Along with races, you have more race medals and t-shirts than you are ever going to know what to do with. A new race is announced, and you can’t wait to sign up for the inaugural event. Your running coach may tell you to hold off on so many races in fear of burnout, but you can’t listen. Racing is way too much fun.

Running Ecard 3

 

(Source)

The Focused Goal Race Runner

You have your eyes on one race for the season, and nothing is going to stop you from getting there. The only race you may sign up for between now and then is a race to use as a training run, but there is no way you are going to race it. You need to save your energy for your speed workout in a couple of days. You have every run and workout written out in a calendar or training plan for the next 4 months. Each workout is meticulously  calculated, and you make sure your GPS reflects the correct mileage after each run. It’s your goal race or bust – no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Running Ecard 2

 

(Source)

What kind of runner are you?

Shameless self promotion: Don’t forget, I offer running coaching for those of you with fall and spring race goals! ;)

Baby Baum: Week 15 & 16

By the time I finally got to posting a bump picture last week, it was Thursday, so I figured I would just put both week 15 & 16 together. Not much has changed between the two, so its pretty easy to do a double post.

Here is a picture from last week at 15 weeks..

15 weeks Then here is a picture from this week at 16 weeks…

16 weeks side

4 Big Months is already here! It is amazing how quickly months 3 to 4 have flown by. It took forever to get to the 12 week mark, since that is when we announced it. Luckily, since then, time is moving quite rapidly. I have my 16 appointment this week, and even though there isn’t an ultrasound, I still get to hear Baby Baum’s heartbeat, which never gets old!

I am at the point where I am definitely starting to notice the bump a bit more. It is sticking out a bit more now! Here are a few details on Baby Baum this week:

  • He or she is the size of an avocado
  • Tiny bones are forming in his or her ears and can now pick up your voice
  • Eyebrows, lashes, and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming

As for me:

Weight Gained: No clue. I honestly don’t really care at this point. I am feeling good, and getting in workouts and exercise. The last thing I want to do is get on a scale and worry about weight gain that really doesn’t matter at this point. I’ll find out a real number on Wednesday though at the 16 week appointment.

Workouts: Week 15 was a bit better than week 16 in terms of volume, but I am feeling really good about my activity. Between the last 2 weeks, I’ve completed 7 runs, 1 swim, 4 strength workouts and 1 yoga class. I still want to get in more yoga, but I feel like a bit of a broken record on that one.

Symptoms: I am happy to report I have a lot more energy now! Woo hoo! I haven’t felt like I need a nap each and everyday. At this point, I think I am just in the habit more than anything, so I am really trying to keep myself awake with no nap. I’ve been doing a pretty good job.

Food Aversions: I’ve still been staying away from the dreaded chicken. Just hasn’t been doing it for me still. I’m pretty sick of red meat at this point, so I am trying to incorporate other forms of protein. Eggs have been great, so I have been hard boiling them and putting them on salads, which make me feel pretty good.

Food Cravings: Nothing really in particular. I’ve felt like I’ve been eating pretty normal lately, which is great. It makes me feel really good – not the bloated and just bleh feeling I was having an issue with in the past.

Sleep: I’ve still been tossing and turning more than I would like when I go to sleep, but once I fall asleep, I’m pretty good. For a few days, I was having a big issue with my stomach feeling like it was just stretching like mad. I quickly found out it was because I was just eating too much at night, and there was no where to go since the size of the baby is taking up a lot more of my abdomen. My stomach just doesn’t have as much room to stretch out – gotta make room for that baby!

Baby Items Purchased: After going to my prenatal yoga class, I decided to get a prenatal DVD to save a little bit of money. It was less than $10 on Amazon, so I plan to use it for a bit until I am itching to get back to the in person prenatal class. My cousin is amazing and sent me a big box of her maternity clothes, and I am so thankful! I am so happy to be able to have some clothes to use! Lastly, Marcus came back from Marshalls yesterday with a couple of binkies – super cute!

Prenatal Yoga

 

Miss anything?: Ehh, shorts that fit! I have one pair of maternity shorts, so I am wearing those like crazy. I can’t even come close to zipping any of my regular shorts, which is to be expected. I went ahead and put them away in a box in the closet so I don’t have to continue to stare at them anymore :)

Looking forward to: My appointment on Wednesday! Can’t wait to hear that heartbeat!

Stretchmarks: Nope! Plenty of oils have been given to me, and my favorite is one my friend Laura. It smells so good and doesn’t leave a nasty residue. I am so picky with lotions, so this one is perfect!

 

It’s All About Perspective

Something I have been dealing a bit with lately is perspective. Whether it’s a good or bad thing is a different story – right now, it just is. Let me explain…..

No matter what is going on your life, the way you approach it – aka, your perspective – is what is going to get you through it. A friend texted me a few days ago, sharing with me she ran 3 miles without stopping once. We had been talking about this as her goal for quite sometime, and she broke over the hurdle and accomplished it. She followed up the text with “it meant a lot that a super fast runner supported her running 3 miles”. I told her this was all a matter of perspective. She has just started her running journey, and should be very proud of her huge accomplishment, regardless of what anyone thinks. She set a goal, went after it, and achieved it, plain and simple. (If you are wondering, heck yes I am proud of her accomplishment!! I was sooo thrilled to receive the text!)

Perspective

The more I think about perspective, the more I see it pouring over into certain areas of my life. Ever since I started this blog, I have been pretty consistent with my posting schedule. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there is always a post up. However, in the past few months, it hasn’t been happening that way. My 3x a week posts have dwindled to 2x mostly, and may not even be on my usual days. This used to really bother my at times, but I have been significantly more laid back about it. I’ve had a lot going on in my life, and of course there are the days that I just don’t feel like posting. Instead of making this mean something, I just let it be. I’ve changed my perspective a bit, and feel so much better now that I have. If I don’t have something interesting or thought-provoking to write about, then I’m not going to – no big deal.

Most of all, I am learning to gain a brand new perspective on my exercise while pregnant. Instead of looking at paces which are much much slower than I am accustomed to running, I cherish it. I GET to run right now. There are plenty of people who aren’t even able to run through pregnancy. Who knows, at some point in this journey, I may be one of those people. Until that point, I am going to continue to run, no matter how fast or slow, and enjoy every step. Exercise is something I am able to do both for myself and for Baby Baum. I feel better after, and I know I am taking care of myself in the process.

Some people may see a pregnant person running and immediately judge them for not taking care of the baby. What they may not ask is what that runner was doing before they were pregnant. For me, I was running 30-40 miles a week no problem. I’m pretty sure the 10-12 miles per week I am running now are really no big deal. They are do far more good for my body than bad.

It’s all about perspective.

What about you – do you have any situations in your life where altering perspective may change your outlook?